Monthly Archives: August 2014

Travel Diary:: Austin, TX | South Congress

SoC0_thelookbookphilosophy.com One of the highlights of our trip to Austin this summer, was visiting this little gem of an area known as South Congress or SoCo as the locals like to refer to it. The area is located on South Congress Avenue, from Johanna to Gibson Streets. It features an eclectic array of restaurants, shops, antiques and music venues.

The first thing I noticed about SoCo was its fabulous use of Airstream trailers! I think Airstream’s are beautifully designed, and I loved seeing how they were being put to use for everything from hot dog stands to pet shelters!

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One of the things I loved about this area was its use of color! There was color on the sides of buildings, interspersed graffiti and brightly painted doors and storefronts at every turn.

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While strolling the streets we passed Gueros Taco Bar which (thankfully) had misters out on their patio. We had just come from kayaking, and it had to be at least 100 degrees with the humidity, so everyone stopped to partake of the free droplets. It really was a treat. Next time I would like to try their tacos in addition to their mist!

GUEROS_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM Mist_thelookbookphilosophy.com love_thelookbookphilosophy.com One block up from Guerros is my new favorite Austin store. It is called Uncommon Objects. I was not able to spend nearly enough time in this place. Uncommon Objects is a collective of approximately 24 vintage sellers housed under one roof . . . or as they like to say . . . “a one of a kind emporium of transcendent junk”. But don’t let the word junk fool you. They wouldn’t let you take photos inside so you’ll have to go and see for yourself. I only managed to snap the two below, but they don’t give you much to go on. The store is amazing, take my word for it. I could have spent beaucoup hours and mad dollars$ in there. Can’t wait to go back next summer. Secretly wishing we had one here in Cali . . .

UnCo_thelookbookphilosophy.com Uncom_thelookbookphilosophy.com uncointerior_thelookbokphilosophy.com unco3thelookbookphilosophy.com By this time we were all famished. My niece had been telling about Homeslice Pizza since our last visit so we decided to go there for dinner. The wait time was Ri-DIC-u-LOUS, however, the pizza was AH-mazing! And they had the coolest patio out back complete with a ping pong table and chairs. They even have a separate location next door with a walk-up take out window. Way to cover your bases right?

HomeSlice_thelookbookphilosophy.com Homie_thelookbookphilosophy.com HSP_thelookbookphilosophy.com Menu_thelookbookphilosophy.com HeyHomiew_thelookbookphilosophy.com Pong_thelookbookphilosophy.com rootbeer_thelookbookphilosophy.com crustwetrust_thelookbookphilosophy.com chairses_thelookbookphilosophy.com By the time we left Homeslice it was late and we were all tired. . .  but not too tired to stop by Hey Cupcake! and get a cupcake for the road! They didn’t have any gluten free options available, so I ordered the Red Velvet for Rob. I loved the whole design of this little cupcakery. To sit out in the warm night air and snack on cupcakes under pink umbrellas with friends? Yep, I’ll take it!!

HeyCup_thelookbookphilosophy.com CupMenu_thelookbookphilosophy.com HeyCup2_thelookbookphilosophy.com Hey Cup3_theookbookphilosophy.com SoCo is a great area to check out if you are visiting the Austin area. For more information, maps and a free visitor guide click here.

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Thankful Thursday . . .

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Hey guys! I hope you are all well. This is the first week back to school for my kiddies and today is the first day I have been able to sit down at my laptop and breathe!! Lol! Just so happens that today is Thursday, so today I am giving thanks for the following::

  • I am thankful for a smooth transition back to school for my kids + my husband
  • I am thankful to have the house to myself to work in during the day ☺
  • I am thankful for the joy and sense of excitement that fills my heart right now, even though I can not pinpoint my next step or direction as I ponder it
  • I am thankful for my messy, sunlit bedroom office.
  • Although it is a tad overwhelming, I am thankful for my To Do list, not sure why tho, as I look at it . . .
  • I am thankful for my friends and family. I had such a wonderful summer vacation, and it definitely wouldn’t have been as fab without them
  • I am thankful for my visit back East this summer. It’s been so long since I’ve been back home I am still on cloud 9 from that trip!
  • I am thankful for my new camera. I love her. She brings me joy.

What kinds of things are you thankful for today?

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Life In Pictures | Week of 8.16.14

lantern_thelookbookphilosophy.com I gotta say, this summer has flown by at lightning speed! Kids are back to school next week and I feel as if I have really been playing a game of catch up!! Last Saturday I attended my 3rd wedding of the summer. This time my nephew got married. It was such a beautiful day. My daughter was a flower girl and my son was an escort. Soooo cool to see your kids following directions splendidly!! Lol! Saturday was a wonderful day filled with love, laughter and a lot of dancing.

flowergirl_thelookbookphilosophy.com Escort_thelookbookphilosophy.com Flowergirlz_thelookbookphilosophy.com Life is really a lesson in letting go. If you look closely at my daughter’s dress, you will see where she rubbed her beautiful, WHITE flower girl dress up against the newly polished coffee table 5 minutes before we were to leave the house en route to the wedding. At that point all we could do was “just breathe . . . ” ☺

sisters_thelookbookphilosophy.com My sisters and I made a colorful statement don’t you think? I love the sparkle in Detra’s eyes on this shot. (she is the proud mother of the Groom :) My dress is from Zara. It is no longer available, but you can find similar ones here and here.

Cakemix_thelookbookphilosophy.com Last week we also celebrated my niece’s 7th birthday! We celebrated by doing cake decorating at Duff’s Cake Mix in Hollywood. You can decorate your own cupcakes and cakes. Such a cool spot!! The kids (and adults) loved it! My mom and I even discussed getting together for an adult cake decorating party or a girl’s nite out.

Yummy_thelookbookphilosophy.com toppings_tlbp.com Details_thelookbookphilosophy.com Decorista_thelookbookphilosophy.com CakeOverload_thelookbookphilosophy.com On Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow Blogcademy Alum Karina. We met when I attended the 2 day Blogcademy Workshop in San Francisco last Spring. We had lunch in Pasadena and then after a quick selfie, she snapped this fabulous photo of me at the phone booths. Karina is a San Francisco based photographer. It was really fun getting to know her better and I am looking forward to collaborating with her soon!

IMG_7012 Phonebooth1_thelookbookphilosophy.com My dress is by Elan. I got it at Nordstrom Rack. It’s become one of my favorite summer dresses, you can wear it a few different ways so that the stripes give you a different pattern. You can find a similar one here.

We’ve been spending a lot of time walking at the colleges in the evenings. That tends to happen a lot in the summer. No matter how many times I go there, I can’t help but to take pictures. Its such an inspiring, peaceful place for me.

ivyCovered_thelookbookphilosophy.com I love the ivy covered exterior and the paned windows . . .

GeoDoor_thelookbookphilosophy.com These geometric gates into the courtyard are so cool . . . wishing I had a courtyard to put them in!

Fleur_thelookbookphilosophy.com NatureinHand_thelookbookphilosophy.com I have to make the kids bring a backpack or small bag next time. Everytime we go, they collect nuts, seeds, acorns + pine cones and they always end up crunched up in the bottom of my purse. #mommyproblems Lol!

Arches_thelookbookphilosophy.com KittyCloud_thelookbookphilosophy.com Can you spot the kitty cloud? Hope you are having a fab weekend!!!

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Thankful Thursdays | Facing My Fears . . .

USAIR_MD-ONT_thelookbookphilosophy.com Those of you who know me well, know that I like my feet firmly planted on the ground. I do not like roller coasters, zip lining, parachuting, bungee jumping, sitting on high bridges in traffic or flying in airplanes. I’ve been able to avoid most of these activities throughout my “wonderfully grounded” life. However, I have a bad case of wanderlust. And sometimes that requires travel by plane. Basically, I fly when I have to. I wish I didn’t have a fear of flying, and after writing this post, you will not hear me say that I have a fear of flying again. (In my mind, to speak it is to give into it) This “fear” of flying is something that came out of nowhere… well, I guess it came out of basic knowledge. (The knowledge being that planes can fall thousands of feet from the sky and crash into tiny bits.) As a child I used to travel frequently with my dad on business rips. I earned a few of my very own “wings” via American Airlines. I even got to go into the cockpit and meet the pilots. When I was little, I thought flying in an airplane was the most amazing thing!! Looking out the window at how little everything looked, seemed to make me feel a little bigger! I was doing what adults did! Looking down on the world from their perspective for a change (or so I thought).

Don’t ask me what happened. By the time I was in high school, the fear of flying had taken hold of me. I knew the fear was a mental thing. It was something I had allowed myself to give into in my mind, but it was a familiar fear. My grandmother was afraid of flying. She would come from Maryland to visit us in Jersey by train. She made no attempts to conceal her dislike of air travel. Give her Amtrak anytime. I somehow adopted this philosophy. To this day, travel by train is my favorite way to go. I’ve taken 4 cross country train trips and can not wait for my next one. Nevertheless, if you want to see the world, air travel just can not be avoided, unless you are a very rich person with a lot of free time on their hands (at the moment, I am neither of these). But that is what I find so interesting about certain types of fear. It makes even the most rational people somehow irrational. I tried to justify it by making mental notes of celebrities that do not like to fly (Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Connelly, Megan Fox, Jennifer Aniston . . . “see, I’m not alone, I told myself.”)  somehow I thought if I found good company to keep then it was okay to hang onto this fear. I even kept that stupid statistic tucked away in the back of my head that touted how much more dangerous it was to travel by car on the freeway than it was to fly in an airplane. Nevertheless, when it was time to leave on my trip last week I was not looking forward to the 5-1/2-hour-2-plane-journey I was about to embark on. (the local weather man had predicted thunder and lightning storms to coincide with our departure). To top it all off the world had just experienced 3 . . . count ’em THREE plane crashes in the last month and here I was, stepping out of my no-fly zone onto the tarmac right in middle of all the “crash talking madness.” All the news stations were endlessly reporting on the crashes and interviewing people about how they felt about flying and how safe it actually was.  I got so fed up with being afraid that I just decided not to be afraid anymore. I knew how to do it. I just wasn’t sure I could do it.

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Flashback 20 years or so:: When I went away to college in DC, I had to fly. As excited as I was about going away to school, the thought of the impending flight was always looming in the back of my head, sort of dampering things. I remember that flight vividly. It was a red eye and there was alot of turbulence. I prayed the whole 5 1/2 hours. Knowing my dread for the flight I was to take, my Father wrote out a travel prayer and gave it to me before I left for school. I still have it. I keep it in my bible and every time I have flown since, it has been with me. This hand written prayer has got to be at least 20 years old. I had it with me when I went off to France after college graduation. I had it with me when I went off to New York for Thanksgiving with Rob before we got married. I had it with me when I flew to Hawaii for my honeymoon, (right after 9-11) it was with me yet again when I flew to San Francisco for my sister’s 40th birthday weekend,  and I had it with me last week when we flew back east for my cousin’s wedding. It is part of the reason that I will never say I have a fear of flying again. The other reason is this: I was scared about my flight and I prayed to God to remove this fear from me. I asked Him for comfort and he gave me a gift. A vision if you will. In it, I saw myself running up to Jesus, like a little child, excited and happy to see him. I told Him I was scared and needed His help. He said “Ok, I will pray with you, but first I will call on my friend, The Holy Spirit.” He did, and the three of us stood there, arms linked, heads bowed, praying together peacefully, with joy in our hearts. When we were finished, Jesus spoke these words to me: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Wow! Now how could I be afraid after that? I used that vision + my travel prayer to carry me over the turbulence that visited each of the 4 flights I embarked on. I was still nervous and a little jumpy at some of the turbulence we experienced, but I am thankful that I know God loves me enough to take on my fears and that He has given me His Word to lean on when my “rational” mind rears it’s ugly head.

Do you have any fears you are trying to conquer? How do you quell your fears?

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Emblem x Blogger Babes Fashion Presentation

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Hi guys! Last week I attended the Emblem Fashion presentation at the Gerry Building in Downtown LA. The event was hosted by Heidi Nazarudin (of The Successful Style / Blogger Babes. The presentation was a showcase featuring clothing from the Fall/Winter collections of five up-and-coming designers. Featured designers included SWF, a new Australian designer, Natasha Morse, a jewelry line, Spencer Lacy, another new collection from Australia, Locardi Scarves and Beatrice and Francis which featured beautiful African print fabrics. We were treated to small bites and gift bags from Delisun Confectionery. Here’s a first look at some of the collections . . .

BEATRICE + FRANCIS

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SPENCER LACY

SPL1_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM SPL4_THLOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM SPL3_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM

DELISUN CONFECTIONERY

DELISUN_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM ALI_SARAI_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM Delisun PR Execs, Ali De’Lancret, Sarai + Moi

NATASHA MORSE JEWELRY

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 SWF

SWF_3_thelookbookphilosophy.com SFW1_THELOOkbookphilosophy.com swf_thelookbookphilosophy.com SWF2_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM

 

SPL2_THELOOKBOOKPHILOSOPHY.COM emblem5_thelookbookphilosophy.com Heidi+I2_thelookbookphilosophy.com Event host + Blogger Babes founder, Heidi Nazarudin

peops_thelookbookphilosophy.com Event attendees . . .

Me_Mandiie_Ali_thelookbookphilosophy.com Ali De’Lancret, Mandiie Martinez + Moi . . .

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For more information about any of the clothing seen here, contact Evelyn at Emblem Showroom.

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Chairish Style Board Challenge!

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A few weeks ago I was contacted by Daphne from Chairish, asking if I would be interested in creating a style board based on one of the accent chairs from their latest collection. Daphne’s email was my first introduction to Chairish, and boy am I glad to have been introduced to them! Chairish is a fabulous, curator approved, online marketplace for vintage furniture. It’s a wonderful way for design lovers to sell and purchase pre-owned pieces. When I visited the site after reading my email, I was happy to accept the challenge.

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The theme of the challenge was to create a style board around a colorful accent chair for a room that is going from white to bright by adding in bold color. This was a fun challenge for me. As you know, I am addicted to black + white, but I love pops of color. I selected the Eames style molded plastic chair to create my space around. In keeping with my love of creative workspaces, I decided to use a home office as the room concept for my board. (I guess it was subliminal wishful thinking for me :) I took my room from white to bright by adding in color with my accessories. I love the green of the Eames chair (which happens to be a style I have had my eye on for a while). I wanted the space to have a luxe feel, so I chose accessories and furnishings with gold accents. I used abstract art to pull in more color and play off the gold and green. Touches of black helped to ground the room and add dimension and a nice contrast for the gold, green and yellow. Choosing colorful desk accessories, like pink pencils also helped to bring color and life to the space. These small things can make such a big impact. So for those of you who might be afraid of color, remember that you can always add in color through your accessories. The room still has a neutral base, but because of the bold pops of color, it doesn’t give off the feeling of being in a stark white room.

Here are the items I used to create my workspace:: clockwise from top right::

♦     Painting  | Abstraction by Franz Kline , 1955

♦     Gold Stapler | Kate Spade 

♦     Sheepskin Throw |  cb2

♦     Chamber Desk | cb2

♦     Perpetual Wall Calendar | Fitzsu.com

♦     Gold Iphone 5 charger | Nastygal.com

♦     Floating Drawers | Codor Design

♦     Matte Black + Gold Votives | Room 21

♦     Eames style plastic molded chair | Chairish

♦     Whippet Pillow | West Elm

♦     Pencils | Etsy

Be sure to check out the Chairish site. You can shop their accent chairs here. It’s a great way to get your hands on vintage pieces!

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LINK L♡VE | 8.5.14

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 Sharing a few of the things that have added beauty to my life in some way this week . . . ♡

♥     Two thumbs up + a back flip for this down to earth article by Gala Darling on Flawlessness + Admitting the Effort Required. LOVED THIS ARTICLE. I just touched on that subject a little in last week’s post on Second Guesses.

♥     For any of you who got hooked on Orange is the New Black, here’s a true life story from “Larry” about when he first met Piper. You know what they say . . . Life is stranger than fiction!

♥     Wanna quick easy way to change up your space? Check out these DIY NO-SEW pillow covers!! (key words here: NO SEW)

♥     If that wasn’t DIY enough for you, here is a great tutorial on how to make polaroid coasters! Seems like a great gift, and cool idea!

♥     Have you heard about Ikea’s new Instagram based website? It’s the first of it’s kind!

♥      I’m probably so late to the game, but I just discovered faith based website She Reads Truth. They recently launched an app and they’ve got a pretty cool instagram account. It’s a beautiful way to study the bible and learn and grow with a community of women. ♥

♥     According to Refinery29, you’re NOT going to get Ebola . . .

♥     Did you know the San Antonio Spurs has a new assistant coach . . . and she’s a SHE!! Yay!

♥     I  stylist/interior decorator, Imogen Naylor’s clean neutral interiors . . . 

♥     Here’s a quick + easy way to tell if you are a narcissist, because I know you were wondering…

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 image via pinterest

Randomocities | Second Guesses . . .

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Hard to believe it’s August. July was a whirlwind of travel and events, full of good times and lots of family. I was even able to check off a few things on my immediate goal list. And for an avid list maker like myself, that is a bonus! Last month one of my goals was to get my shop up and running. Well, I did and it is live. (yay!) But I gotta tell you, I really fought with that one. I wanted to share this with you because the internet has a way of making things look beautiful and easy. People share bits and pieces of their lives and their projects and it all looks so fabulous. The people I truly admire are the ones who share the trials that come along with it. As an entrepreneur, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with my business. Entrepreneurial blood runs through my body, and even with the hardships, there’s no way I can stop! I’ve tried, both willingly and unwillingly. But that doesn’t make it any easier for me. When you are the head of a small company, you are the one who has to make all of the ultimate decisions. And sometimes that can get overwhelming! Especially if you have have incurred negative consequences to some of your decisions in the past. Sometimes those experiences come back to “taunt” you. They can try to trip you up and make you unsure of your next step.

I had a hard time deciding if I should wait to open my shop until the new handbag styles came in. Since you all know about the snaffu with the new designs, you know that I have been waiting a long time. During the down time I have continued to create, and blog and brainstorm and create some more. I’ve been traveling and photographing things I love and doing all those things which are natural for me. And all the while a voice inside kept telling me to “start with what you have.” “Start where you are . . .” I even wrote a post about it here. I kept getting confirmation in unexpected places. When talking to friends, somehow the topic of starting where you are would come up. While watching TV, somehow someone on the telly would mention the fact that “all you have is now, this moment. Use what you’ve got.” While reading a book, I would come across similar themes. I took it as more than a sign. I took it as a sort of law of life. I know for a fact that momentum creates momentum. So once you start, you will inevitably be lead to the next step. And since I didn’t have exactly what I wanted to have on hand, I chose to use what I did have. I received so many well wishes, encouragement and inquiries. Thank you to all of you who texted, commented on social media, and purchased goodies from the shop. It really let me know that my decision was one that was right for the moment.  Your encouragement also gives me fuel to keep creating and filling up the shop with mas goodness!! I’m glad action won out over resistance, fear of failure, and all of my second guessing. In the grand scheme of things, life is about learning and growing. And as long as I am in the midst of growth, I’ll take that as a +.

Is there any thing in your life you are second guessing yourself about?

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Quick Picks | Giambattista Valli Fall ’14 Couture

Lavender Love . . .

Valli28 Valli_26 Valli_23 Valli29

Black + White Glamour . . . Valli38 Valli33 Valli35 Valli_2 Valli_7 Valli_8

Floral Syndicate . . . Valli41 Valli_17 Valli_21

Colour Confection . . .

Valli43 Valli45

I love Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2014 Couture collection. Inspired by the Alhambra Gardens located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain, Valli’s collection gave nod to the mix of Moorish and Spanish cultures that dominate the area. He even worked in a little old school Hollywood glam to round out the mix. I love the bold black + white stripes as well as the beautiful  lavender and multicolored florals. The solid creme and black gowns were stunning just the same, and needed no embellishment to stand out. Best of all, I loved the styling of this collection. The solid white head scarves, dark sunnies and minimal make up, although seemingly retro, seemed to give this collection a really modern look for couture. Loved it.

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all images via style.com

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